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Re: XML's place in the world

  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 11:22:10 -0500

Re:  XML's place in the world
Michael Kay wrote:
> In the absence of evidence, I think it's better to believe nothing than to
> make wild guesses. And I do think there is a very big difference between
> what it is fashionable to talk about, and what people are actually using. 

That's a much more restrained claim than your previous swipe, but I see 
no evidence thus far that challenges the proposal I put forward.

> I have a theory that the people who buy books about a technology tend to be
> early adopters. (Late adopters go on training courses, or learn from their
> colleagues, or learn by trial and error.) There aren't any early adopters of
> XML any more. People are doing their third or fourth project, and you don't
> need new books for that. 

To some extent, that's true - the big waves of book sales are driven by 
early adopters.  Sales after those waves are typically to late arrivals 
who need to catch up, and they have many other ways to catch up.

However, in this case, that story doesn't help.  XML book sales were 
gigantic when XML first arrived.  The next technology adoption in the 
space was XSLT - almost as large.  Then XML Schema, far smaller.  Then 
XQuery, where the market barely registered a bump.

(Late arrival sales for XML itself and XSLT vastly outweigh sales of 
books on XML Schema and XQuery as well.  Semantic Web books are up and 
outperforming XML books, though still not enough for jubilation.)

I think it's safe to say that all of those subjects seemed of roughly 
equal difficulty when they arrived.  Though tech book sales have 
declined over time, the level of enthusiasm for these subjects relative 
to the book market in general has declined more severely.

The anecdotal evidence I've heard - chatter, perhaps - tells the same story.

Simon St.Laurent

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